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WESTFORD — New solid waste bans are coming to Massachusetts.
Starting Nov. 1 textiles and mattresses can no longer be disposed of. Instead, people will have to recycle or donate their unwanted items. Bulk stickers will no longer be accepted on mattresses and box springs.
According to Department of Environmental Protection data, more than 600,000 mattresses and box springs are discarded annually in Massachusetts.
“They are expensive to transport, hard to compact, take up lots of landfill space, and can damage incinerator processing equipment,” MassDEP says. “Once disassembled, more than 75 percent of their components can be reused. This is better for the environment, the economy, and municipal waste management budgets.”
For textiles, MassDEP says 85% of material could be reused, recycled or donated. According to DEP data, residents dispose of 230,000 tons of textiles annually.
DEP says the textile waste ban includes “clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, and similar products, except for textiles that are contaminated with mold, bodily fluids, insects, oil, or hazardous substances.”
The goal of the ban is to reduce statewide disposal by 30% by 2030 per the state’s 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan. It has set a long-term goal of achieving a 90% of reduction in disposal by 2050.
The state encourages residents to use Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory to find an organization that will accept their old mattresses or box springs.
Westford is not part of MassDEP’s Mattress Recycling Incentive program and does not currently have a program in place to accept old mattresses and box springs. Instead, the Recycling Commission compiled a number of resources on how to donate usable mattresses.
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